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BATA to Implement Technology Changes in 2017

Promo Image: BATA to Implement Technology Changes in 2017

Public transportation servicing Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties will see some technology upgrades after the New Year.

Many of the changes stemmed from what the public wanted.

The Bay Area Transportation Authority just finished a survey for its customers.          

BATA put out a community needs assessment to see what would improve service for its riders.            

And the results show people want more frequent and accessible service.

“Online scheduling, being able to schedule rides through a digital portal of some sort,” said BATA Communications Manager Eric Lingaur. “Maybe real time bus tracking, being able to tell where our buses are in real time.”

All possibilities the Bay Area Transportation Authority is looking at for 2017.

One thing they know for sure — they will roll out a link-up with Google Transit next year.

“What that will be able to do is you can type into the google maps function where you want to go and where you’re starting. It will tell you which route to take, how much it will cost, how long it will take to get you there.”

In a mobile age, having internet access is going to make BATA a lot easier for riders to use. For example, being able to use google maps to see which routes to use to get to where they want to go.

“Using Google Maps would be easier to know your routes and stuff. Like when you go on the internet and don’t know what you’re looking for, you can ask google maps to look for it,” said BATA Rider Shelly Massoglia.

Other ideas on the table are expanded rural service and using smaller buses for door-to-door connections.

Those could mean a millage increase.

The current millage raises about 2.3 million dollars a year, and expires at the end of next year.

“Io be able to maintain what we have, to be able to make improvements that the community’s asking for, to be able to replace vehicles and add technology that the community is looking for,” Lingaur said.

BATA is now looking at a millage increase to make this possible.

The current millage rate is .3447 mills, and Lingaur predicts it would be raised to about .5 mills.